Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Jockey's title

Mannheim, Vizean and Gin Twist all were placed. If only I had followed my own lengthy advice in the last post and picked Vizean as a Place rather than a Win, that would have made a perfect week-end. Vizean found another one too good again and until she stops coming out as runner-up, it's hard to recommend her to win.

Ryan Moore's aspirations to regain his the jockey's title this year were ended at Goodwood when he was the victim of a bad spill on Verdant that will put him out for months. There is nothing certain about betting on the jockey's championship as an innocuous fall can doom a punt at any time. Defending champion Paul Hanagan is deservedly the favourite from now on and he's followed closely by upcoming Silvestre de Sousa, who looks to be the pick for Mark Johnston's horses.

In my opinion, De Sousa's falling odds (1.5/1 as I write) are way too short for someone just starting to mount a serious challenge for the title. Paul Hanagan has the benefit of having "been there, done that" last year during his tussle with Richard Hughes. If he's serious about retaining his title, he will know how to judiciously pick his rides. Not just travel the country to maximize his rides at the cost of burning out. Also, the rider from the North can count on the ever-strong Richard Fahey's team that won't easily be swayed against Mark Johnston's.

No doubt that De Sousa is a rising star with great ability who will be a prominent jockey in the years to come. But at this short price, he's a big lay. There's still a long way to go before the end of the season. A fall could end it all a la Ryan Moore. Kieren Fallon is lurking in third behind him. There are really too many factors that make the current 1.5/1 price unjustifiable.If one is trying to lay or sell, he's an obvious choice at this point (while keeping watch of the unfolding and future price points to minimize any risk).

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